First Impressions: Mary Cassatt

Susan E. Meyer, Author ABRAMS $19.95 (92p) ISBN 978-0-8109-3154-1
Artfully designed and loaded with high-quality reproductions, these first three entries in the First Impressions series of artist biographies pack a visual wallop. Not surprisingly, their texts match up to the dazzling illustrations--including an electrifying study by Leonardo of rabbits in motion--with varying success. Times being what they are, the artists' personal lives are scrutinized closely. The boundary between fact and colorful speculation can be fuzzy, and Meyer's Mary Cassatt is marred by the author's clumsy (and, in at least one instance, factually inaccurate) efforts to explicate Cassatt's still mysterious intimate life. Conversely, McLanathan nimbly hints at Leonardo's homosexuality while depicting the artist's shifting political milieu with a remarkable immediacy. The dreamlike images of Marc Chagall, a generally less eccentric individual, are gracefully complemented by Greenfeld's down-to-earth, sympathetic prose. Upcoming subjects in the series include Picasso, van Gogh and John James Audubon. Ages 10-up. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 08/29/1990
Release date: 09/01/1990
Hardcover - 92 pages - 978-0-8109-3220-3
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